I know most have criticized the current format of the DCSAA "playoffs". What are some suggestions to improve it? No system will be perfect and make everyone happy but just a topic until the games start.
I think it is fine.......it is a very difficult task considerong you really have 3 different levels of football. Year in and out GZ and SJC will be at a level of their own. Then you have the big publics and the smaller publics. Incorporating the other private schools is the difficult part because their level of play is so inconsistent.There will be years when Sidwell and Maret could beat any team in the city and other years where they are noy good at all...so where do they fit in? Better than Roosevelt but not quite as good as HD and Wilson? The first good move was eliminating SJC and GZ as thay are on another level....however the WCAC representative should remain ineligible because winless Carroll teams should not be eligible.
Overall I think they have done a decent job with a very difficult task.
I jus think with football its issues with competition being on a level playing field (for some teams)...
with football its just not that simple like other sports....
notice all other sports (i.e. basketball) dont have this issue with "levels" when competing in DCSAA playoffs
Snippets from my manifesto are below:
1. Mandate that if a school is in for one sport, they're in for all sports that the DCSAA offers and therefore will participate in DCSAA playoffs regardless of other commitments. It would provide an outstanding rationale for a number of schools to leave the DCSAA as it might interfere w actual competitive tournaments (such as Alhambra in years past).
2. Bar the DCSAA from preventing top teams from participating in tournaments/playoffs simply because they are top teams. That Gonzaga and SJC weren't in the DCSAA football playoffs due to "safety concerns" is a joke. If the Easterns of the world are afraid of big, bad Gonzaga (sarcasm intended) then the coaches at Eastern have failed in their duty to recruit and coach up a team that might have to face bigger opponents. Fire those coaches, don't punish the Gonzaga's of the world citing BS "safety concerns." ABC went into a game against a far more physically superior FCA. Did they back down? No. They got steamrolled but they played the game. As a 180 pound guard going up against future 280 pound DL I got pushed around a bit but held my own in HS. If the coaches at the DCPS programs cant get their kids doing the same, they aren't fit to be on a sideline. (Sidebar, congrats to both SJC and Gonzaga for being the real DCSAA football co-champions in 2016 as FCA didn't earn it).
3. Seed appropriately and not as a means of maintaining traditions for the DCPS programs. Look at last year's football seedings. Carroll got a bye? Woodson deserved that bye based upon who was in the tournament. Woodson had to play an extra game because the DCSAA wants to have its cake and eat it too - they want the turkey bowl but they also want a DCSAA "state" champion. Its BS. We (as in fans) lost one of the best high school traditions out there - the City Title Game. If you are cool w scrapping that tradition for the DCSAA, scrap a tradition that would result in better teams (in this case Woodson) being rewarded w an extra week's rest. Similarly, if Gonzaga or SJC had played in this tournament, they would have played the second best team in it (FCA) in the second round rather than the finals, again just so DCPS could have its Turkey Bowl. Its a joke.
4. Only let the best teams play in the tournaments (or high level tournament for football), regardless of W-L record and/or conference affiliation. And, don't base who gets in on the basis of an absolutely retarded point system (especially as the points system rewards teams that pad their schedules and play other teams that pad their schedules as well). Have an independent panel of coaches, administrators, and perhaps a journalist or two (BigBro???) make the decisions at the end of the year. FCA deserved to be in a bracket w Gonzaga, St John's, Maret (yes, Maret), Woodson, and Wilson or STA. Instead they "won" the state tournament by default.
5. Similarly, don't make determinations (at least for the private schools) as to who will be playing in which playoff until the end of the season. For example, Maret, based upon who was in the AA playoffs for football, belonged in that bracket and not the A division tournament. Similarly, Eastern had no place in any bracket and St Albans deserved consideration for the AA and certainly deserved a spot in the A.
6. Fire Clark Ray immediately. He is incompetent and the DCSAA has been a laughingstock since its inception, largely due to his ineptitude. Frankly, I feel that his incompetence warrants some sort of old-timey punishment, like he should be tarred and feathered and then cast out of DC forever. But that's just me. Couple his incompetence with his obvious bias against the private schools and he should have been terminated immediately.
For the most part I have agreed with your posts in the past.......however, I completely disagree here. Get rid of the Turkey Bowl? If a public school coach can't compete with GZ or SJC they are not fit to be on the sidelines?, etc, etc.
It appears you are just as biased towards the private school as you accuse Ray being against them.
You made assumptions re: my post. At no point did I use the word "compete" in #2. I actually purposely avoided using that word. ABC cannot currently compete with Gonzaga or SJC, but they play. ABC cannot compete with FCA, but they showed up to play. So yeah, if a public school coach cannot put a team on a field that is willing to play with a Gonzaga, or if an administrator is unwilling to let a St. John's play a team due to "saftey concerns," that is on the opposing coach or administrator, not on SJC or Gonzaga. That said, and I should have been clearer about this in my post - I highly doubt that Eastern's coach would have been uncomfortable, from a safety perspective, putting his kids on the field v. a WCAC program. Cato June did it just a year or two ago v. Gilman (hence my comment that the saftey concerns were BS). This was Clark Ray dodging a potential proverbial black eye on the DCSAA.
Re: Turkey Bowl. Give me a rationale for keeping it around that doesn't use the word(s) "tradition" or a derivation thereof under the current construct (because everyone shoots down my "tradition" argument when it comes to the City Title game). The Turkey Bowl used to crown the DC "state" championship for the non-private schools. The proliferation of charter schools and the creation of the DCSAA eliminated that. Now, it serves as a potential detriment to better teams. Woodson had to play an extra game even though they were a FAR better team than Carroll. If you dont want to eliminate the Turkey Bowl, create a construct where, when situations arise as they did this season, that a Carroll wouldn't be rewarded for being a private school but sucking at football this year. My main complaint is that a really terrible team (Carroll) got a bye whereas a decent team (Woodson) had to play an extra game. That's not right.
What I have isn't bias, it is a desire for a equitable playing field for those teams that earned the right to be on the field. I note that Carroll (a private) didn't. But we had a situation this year where both an ISL team and Maret (whatever league they play in) both deserved a seat at the table relative to both the other private school involved and all the publics/charters. One got shut out. We also had a situation where either Gonzaga or SJC got shut out because of BS "saftey concerns." If the tables weren't slanted so badly in favor of the public schools in terms of access to the playoffs, the higher division playoff would have been pretty good to watch. FCA, Wilson, Woodson, Gonzaga, SJC and Maret would have at least produced somewhat competive semi-final games. And a (likely) FCA v Gonzaga or SJC would have been solid. Ray has consistently worked to shut teams out to further a narrative he wants to put forward. If anything I am biased against him, but based on his track record it's deserved.
What needs to change is scheduling so that Albans has a chance to participate. The final week of IAC play is the start of the DCSAA playoffs which eliminates them. Also allowing teams to buck the recommendations of the DCSAA with no penalty. Tech bucked their recommendations the first year of the split and played up when the DCSAA recommended they play down and FCA punished them. The better game would have been them vs Carroll not ABC vs Sidwell. Last season Maret declined to play up and beat the breaks off of Roosevelt in the lower division. Maret vs ABC might have been a good match-up.
I hate to do this but I have to give credit where credit is due. For the first time in the history of mankind I am going to agree with you. STA deserved a seat at the table this year and they were denied that seat.
Now, are you sure about Maret declining to play up? Everything I heard, read, and saw denoted the opposite - that they were lumped in w STA and Sidwell from the jump.
I say don’t include the WCAC. No one in the city can compete with GZ or SJC…including ABC. Not sure if this is right or can be done but any given year a combination of Maret, HD, Wilson, Sidwell, Albans, Friendship, etc. will make for a much more competitive….hence interesting…championship. Perhaps you take the league rankings out of it all together and have some sort of formula or polling to come up with the top 4-6 teams in DC. Looks something like this:
1 and 2 bye Example: Friendship and HD
3 vs 6 Maret vs- Albans
4 vs 5 Sidwell vs Wilson
Every couple of years you will have a Dunbar or Ballou make it which will be good. Do the same thing with the smaller schools but perhaps only have 4 teams. This will ensure a competitive tournament which should get traction and interest. Another problem is lack of facility for the championship. Catholic and Gtown are too small, Howard is too run down (no bathrooms or parking), Eatern is not a great fit either. Also, some rivalries can be rejuvenated (Wilson and HD) and some rivalries can be formed (Albans Sidwell and Maret are ripe for a rivalry developing). Lastly you have the public –vs_ private intrigue. Under this system no one has the “safety” concerns of the reality of being crushed by the WCAC entry into the tournament.
As far as the Turkey Bowl…..it is all about tradition. You seem to be a DC sports historian but have you seen this video?
If you watch this and still feel there is no place for the Turkey Bowl then we can agree to disagree. Without getting political or racial…too many people have been denied access to equal ground in this country and city. That forced said people to begin to form their own organizations, causes, events, etc. Not to be exclusive but to combat and counter exclusivity. The Turkey Bowl is a result of this. So now that IT SEEMS that there is a more equal ground do you abandon your traditions that served their purpose? I would vote, NO. The risk is perhaps, just perhaps, you don’t truly have a seat at the table and you will soon find yourself with nothing. Example is it took one year to build Wilson. It took two or three to build HD and Dunbar. Coincidence? Perhaps. Don’t be so happy to get something new that you forget the process it took to get there. Sorry to get deep on a sports forum but I think the reasons to keep the Turkey bowl intact run deep.
SMD, it's not me that doesn't care about tradition. Go back and look at my posts re: City Title Game. I LOVED that tradition. But:
1. The DCSAA is willing to piss that tradition away to crown a "state" champion
2. The Turkey Bowl's significance is now watered down as it is not the actual final game of the season.
I literately agree with your post 100%. But the DCSAA has been more than willing to abandon the other traditions to crown "true" champions. I understand the background and history of the Turkey Bowl but the new system that is in place runs counter to why the Turkey Bowl was created in the first place.
Everyone keeps saying that teams can not compete with GZ and SJC. If I recall correctly GZ first appearance in the DCSAA tournament was a 20-19 victory over FCA. SJC and GZ have played some very competitive games so I dont think its that far off. Would they be the favorites yes but definitely capable of being upset.
The safety concerns was a political stunt (and some complaints about roster size) so the DCSAA would not attack all the transferring happening at SJC.
Teams should compete and if your team cant then get better
Big Game....just as a reminder...that 20-19 victory over Friendship was the year almost all of the GZ seniors choses not to play in the game. Basically none of their D1 guys played. Had Lewis, Greenwood, Petibon, Corbin, Morrison, etc. played it would have been a butt whipping. GZ managed to beat them with back-ups...just saying. Under the current structure the only way to have a competitive game would be the DCIAA all-star team against GZ/SJC. The very next year against Friendship the seniors at GZ played and they beat the brakes off of them 50 something to 7 and turned around and beat HD 55 to 14 in the championship. Im a DC public schools fan but not to the point that I don't recognize reality. For every once in 10 years that they could be upset...you have 9 years of a non-competitive, boring tournament.